Parker County History 1922
Parker County History Written in 1922
Parker is one of the oldest settled counties of North Texas. adjoining Tarrant on the west, and is on the dividing line between the black land belt of the central part of the state and West Texas. One fork of the Trinity River runs through the county. and in the western part is the Brazos River, so that two of the largest water courses in the state approach each other closely in this county. The county ranks high as an agricultural section, with cotton the chief crop, but corn, wheat, vegetables and fruit are important factors in a diversified farming which has made great progress during the last twenty years. It has taken first premiums at all Agricultural Fairs in the country for watermelons, peanuts and many of the fruits.
The county takes special pride in its good roads, constructed from gravel beds closely accessible, and has also developed a broad foundation of institutions and commercial activities.
Parker County was created from portions of Navarro and Bosque counties on December 12, 1855, and was organized March, 1856. The act creating the county directed that county courts, when chosen, should order an election for the location of the seat of justice, the site selected to be called Weatherford. The first settlement followed soon after the establishment of the military post at Fort Worth in 1849. For twenty years the county was on the frontier and exposed to the hostile raids of the Indians. For several years after the organization of the county the settlers had little trouble, but the removal of a large part of the Texas Indians beyond Red River was followed by a persistent warfare along the fringes of settlement. In 1859 an attack was made on the town of Weatherford, when Mrs. Sherman was killed and scalped. During the Civil war the danger from such raids never abated, and as late as 1873 an Indian incursion was made into Parker County.
During the comparative security of the early '50s settlement was rapid. The population in 1858 was estimated at 3,507, including a small number of slaves, (160).
About 10,000 acres were in cultivation, wheat and corn being the only crops, and over 10,000 cattle raised on the ranges. Weatherford had a population at this time of 175, there being only five negroes in the little town.
The author of "Information about Texas," whose observations were made about 1856-57, says of Parker County : "It is a desirable region for small farmers. Weatherford, a new town and county seat, is rapidly increasing. Not twelve months ago the site was laid out and yet there are already a court house in process of construction, and several other public buildings, one hotel, several stores, private dwellings and other marks of civilization." Weatherford built up rapidly in those years. One of the first steam flour mills in a large region of the country was started there about the middle of 1858, and in November of the same year a correspondent wrote : "This flourishing little town I find still improving rapidly, and notwithstanding the universal cry of hard times, new buildings are going up all over town.